NEWS OF THE WEEK AND WHAT TO DO
COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL TO PERFORM ONLY OUTDOORS IN 2021
The Mary Rippon Amphitheatre sat empty last summer. Photo by John Moore
All does not end well for 'All's Well that Ends Well' and 'Coriolanus'
By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has announced that it will return next summer with a reduced, all-outdoor season. Depending on further COVID developments, the nation's second-oldest Shakespeare festival will return June 18 through August 15. The plan is to open with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, followed by Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of “The Odyssey” and two performances of “Pericles” in the company's "Original Practices" tradition.
The fest had previously announced that it would be additionally offering “All's Well that Ends Well” and “Coriolanus” in the University of Colorado’s indoor theatre. But with all that remains unknown about the pandemic, it has decided to skip indoor performances entirely. Producing Artistic Director Tim Orr already is planning for enhanced health protocols for company members and patrons, including distanced seating, contact-free ticketing options and required masks.
“Last spring, we were faced with the heartbreaking decision on how best to protect our community from the spread of COVID,” Orr said. “While we chose to postpone the 2020 season, I’m now filled with excitement as we look toward the future." Season tickets are available at coloradoshakes.org or by phone at 303-492-8008. Single tickets go on sale Monday, November 30.
(Pictured: Emily Van Fleet in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 'As You Like It' in 2019. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.)
In other news ...
- Local Theater Company is streaming the soundtrack to "Discount Ghost Stories: Colorado,” the folk-rock concept musical by Alexander Sage Oyen that it staged on a Boulder bar patio in 2019. The musical is made up of Colorado-set ghost stories including a lovesick miner, a legendary outlaw, a hopeful pioneer and an eclectic posse of phantom musicians. Performers on the recording include Broadway’s Lachanze, Ben Fankhauser and Denver native Shaun Taylor-Corbett. All proceeds benefit Local Theater Company. Order here
- The Athena Project has announced its selections for next June’s “Plays In Progress,” its annual new-play-development series that fosters new works by women playwrights: “The Newlywed Game” by Alyssa Haddad (Brooklyn); “Like a House of Cards” by Eva Grace (Dallas); “Woman Wahala” by Nikkita Duke (Nigeria); and “Knead Love" by Camille Darby (The Bronx). More info
- The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's museum galleries will reopen to a limited capacity on November 12. The theatre and art school will continue programming online only until further notice. More info
WHAT TO DO:
Here's the most current information we have on all local theatre events that we know of that are happening now, or coming up before November 12. Please send any updates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through October 30: Katy Williams Design’s “The Shadows of Sleepy Hollow” is an innovative walking tour of downtown Englewood that tells the tale of Ichabod Crane through wide-ranging forms of shadow puppetry. Audiences wander sidewalks, alleys and other assorted crannies to re-create the famous tale of the fictional schoolmaster whose awful ways lead him to a fateful encounter with the legendary Headless Horseman. Starts at 3454 S. Broadway. Order here
Through November 1: The Rainbow Militia is hosting an immersive show called "Death's Unraveling" located "somewhere on Tennyson Street." Rainbow Militia shows blend circus with live music, shadow puppets, Tarot readings, aerial dance and more. Information here
Through November 15: Adams Mystery Playhouse presents “Paranormal Murder” for Halloween. Set in 1938 at a county estate in England, guests have assembled for a séance to contact the recently deceased Colonel Alan Faulkner, who died under mysterious circumstances 2406 Federal Blvd. 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.com
Through January 30: The DCPA is partnering with five-time Academy Award-winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu ("Birdman") to present the groundbreaking and immersive virtual-reality installation "Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically Invisible)" at the Stanley Marketplace. The 20-minute experience explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees in a short journey centered around a virtual-reality sequence. The spaces are designed for one visitor at a time to circulate while limiting interactions. 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora. Order here
Friday, October 30: The CJRO Sextet and the smooth baritone of vocalist Robert Johnson combine for "Robert Johnson Sings Voices of the Soul." Johnson sings the music of Bill Withers, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Al Jarreau and Otis Redding. Songs include “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, 303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org Streaming option
Friday, October 30: Miners Alley Playhouse’s "Virtual Variety Fundraiser" will feature entertainment from recent productions including “Fun Home,” “once” and “Cabaret,” as well as improv comedy from ScriptProv. Performers include Jenna Moll Reyes, Aaron Vega, David Otto, John Hauser, Anna Maria High, Trent Hines, Abigail Kochevar and more. Hosts Len Matheo and Lisa DeCaro will be announcing six shows for 2021, each to be presented with a streaming option. Curated meals will be available for pick-up from Bella Colibri and Mannie & Bo’s. Reserve your spot here
Friday, October 30: The Lone Tree Arts Center hosts a virtual concert by The Choir of Man streaming live from a London pub. It's a one-time-only, professionally produced event with high-definition cameras specifically for the Lone Tree audience. The Choir of Man grew from the London theater scene and combines eight performers with high-energy dance, live music and foot stomping choreography. This all-new, more intimate show emphasizes the performers' personal journeys, and they each will share favorite memories from their U.S. tours, including special memories from their time in Colorado. Starts at 6:30. There will be no rebroadcast. Order here
Friday, October 30: "Infinite Joy" is Ovation West's virtual Broadway revue featuring hopeful and comic showtunes presented by local actors performing from Center Stage in Evergreen. Order here
Fridays: Su Teatro presents “Short, Funny and Weird,” its weekly virtual series made up of skits, songs and short stories. It’s free, with a $10 suggested donation. 6:30 p.m. Order here
Through November 1: In the midst of this most strange of worlds, Arvada Center actor Zachary Andrews sought escape in an even stranger one: Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel “Dracula,” the archetypical vampire story about the notorious Transylvanian count who turned human necks into Halloween candy. Speaking of Halloween ... just in time: Andrews' original, one-man audio adaptation has launched as a radio play today. "I am trying to push the limits of your idea of storytelling with sound," he says. Read more Order here
Through November 1: Colorado Springs’ TheatreWorks presents “House Arrest,” a virtual production of Anna Deavere Smith’s 2000 documentary-theatre piece subtitled “A Search for Character in and Around the White House, Past and Present.” Based on historical source materials and interviews with figures ranging from Studs Terkel to Anita Hill, “House Arrest” asks how the American presidency has changed from 1776 to more recent years. Order here. Watch "Elections at Altitude," a free student compansion piece.
Through November 1: Acclaimed and prolific local composer David Nehls presents "A Piano and Me: Halloween Edition," newly extended by positive response. It's now available for streaming up to 2 a.m. on November 1. Nehls decribes the show as "a 50-minute diversion from all the things in 2020 that have been far scarier than any Halloween movie." The silly, spooky show features songs including "Science Fiction Double Feature" (filmed at the Tabor Opera House), "Thriller" (filmed at Central City Cemetery) and more. Watch here
Through November 1: Boulder's The Upstart Crow presents "From the Crypt of the Crow," a rotating series of classic Halloween stories, play excerpts and short films. First up: "Chords," a short horror film starring Jeremy Barnes ("A Midsummer Night's Dream"). Written and directed by Alexander Blanco. Watch here
Through November 8: The longer, smaller and all-digital 2020 Denver Film Festival is offering about 100 films through its new popular new Virtual Cinema platform. Spotlighted films that normally involve a red carpet will broadcast at specific, high-profile times, but most films will be available for patrons to watch at their convenience. Learn more and order here
Through November 9: Vintage Theatre presents “Murderers,” a trio of inter-connected comic whodunnit monologues by Jeffrey Hatcher, who paints a picture of the Riddle Key Luxury Retirement Community and its three unlikely criminals. Due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases, in-person performances have been canceled. You can wach a recorded performance online by ordering here.
Through November 23: Julia Tobey and Eugene Ebner present an uplifting, nearly all-Colorado video concert to launch her new Sublimelight Studios. The concert will be pre-recorded and dropped at 7 p.m. on October 23 on Sublimelight’s YouTube channel. The concert hosts are Grammy Award nominee Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers), Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (“You Can’t Take it With You”), three-time Emmy Award-winning composer Denise Gentilini, and Tony Award nominee Beth Malone (“Fun Home.”) Performers slated to perform or speak include Elizabeth Welch (“The Phantom of the Opera”), Gregory Treco (“Hamilton”), Jason Veasey (“The Lion King”), Josh Franklin (“The Prom”), Piper Lindsay Arpan (“Spamalot”), Shannan Steele, David Nehls, Robert Michael Sanders, Megan Van De Hey, Kenny Moten, Lauren Shealy, Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Jessica Hindsley, Lynzee and Chris Jones, Adriane and Marco Robinson, Julie Payne, Natalie Oliver-Atherton, Jennifer Condreay, Paul Page, Dixie Krystals, Shirley Delta Blow, Sophia Dotson, Evan Gibley, Hannah Katz, Abby Linderman, Eden Lane and Sue Leiser. Ensembles performing include Black Iris Collective, Spinphony, The Beverly Belles and The Honey Taps. All in 90 minutes (!). The goal is to raise $75,000 to support Sublimelight, a new arts and wellness community set to open in Denver in 2021. Ten percent of proceeds will go to The Denver Actors Fund. Viewers can watch from home anytime through November 23. Order here
Through December 12: The Fine Arts Center at Colorado College continues its original, 12-episode audio-play series “Of Spacious Skies,” focusing on the history of Colorado Springs. A new episode drops every Thursday through December 12. The latest: “Leonidis” by Jonathan Andujar. It’s the turn of the 20th century, and Leonidas Frank Chaney, one of Colorado Springs’ most famous sons, is about to make the big choice that will lead him to become actor Lon Chaney, the man of a thousand faces. Read more Listen here
Sunday, November 1: Boulder's Story Slam returns with its Grand Slam Championship. Ten storytellers offer a variety of 5-minute stories told from the heart ranging from dumpster diving to addiction to child-rearing. All of the winners from the previous year will come back to face off for the Grand Slam title. The lineup includes Nora Burns, Lilly Hansing, Alexis Miles, Kelita Samone, Judy Cody, Keith Bailey, Diana Sorus, Melissa Dinwiddie, Laura Ellsworth and Mary Roberts. 6 p.m. Order here
Monday, November 2: The NextStage young-adult theatre company presents an online version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Vegetable," adapted and directed by Tyler Phillips. It's a period farce written in 1929 about an inexperienced, narcissistic and delusional man who becomes president and nearly destroys the entire country by appointing unfit family members to office and making rash decisions to protect his power. Presented on Election Night-eve in a visual-radio-play format with original piano music interludes and a 1920s virtual costume contest. Order here
November 4-December 19: Buntport Theater re-teams with Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental for the Western premiere of the remote, live and interactive theatrical experience "Zoo Motel," written and performed by internationally acclaimed performance artists (and Denver East High School grad) Thaddeus Phillips. This is a live (yet remote), intimate and playful experience broadcast from a village in South America. Phillips describes "Zoo Motel" as a surreal play that has the feel of live theater and a movie simultaneously. By purchasing a ticket for "Zoo Motel," participants reserve one of 21 "rooms" in the imagined motel. They will then receive an email that will include a printable room key, motel stationery, motel brochure and interactive set pieces. Watch for 360 tracking, quickly shifting perspectives, paintings of bizarre phone booths, a Japanese Maneki-Neko beckoning cat, a miniature Titanic and various other surprises. (Given the unique nature and logistics of this production, it is necessary to have a printer and print materials before the show.) Order here
Friday, November 6: Youth On Record and members of Colorado’s expansive creative community present "Founding our Future: An Arts Declaration of What’s Possible" through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ "Arts Across America" series. This collaborative performance amplifies youth voices offering untold and unseen histories of the Colorado West through poetry, dance, music, video, sound, art and storytelling. The hope is to create a vision about what’s possible when all people have a seat at the table. Talkback to follow the 6 p.m. performance. Order here
November 6-7: Visionbox Studio will be performing an original work called "Murmurations" on YouTube Live. The first evening is two original one-acts. The second evening is an ensemble piece written and performed by the Visionbox Ensemble. "Murmurations" is a collection of original writing threaded together with fragments of Chekov's plays and characters and is the ensemble's personal reflections on life during COVID. Order here
Saturday, November 7: Ten performers sing, dance, act and play their own instruments for "An Enchanted Evening: Selections from Broadway and Film." The song list will include acapella arrangements, solos, duets and small group numbers spanning Disney classics to musical theater classics. PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker, 303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org
Monday, November 9: A hate crime has taken place at a liberal University in America. Three women enter a research study planning to create positive change, but instead, uncover their complicated shared history. Jasmine Sharma's new play "Radial Gradient" challenges what complicity looks like. What do we do if it looks like us? Presented by the NextStage young-adult theatre company. Order here
November 12-December 25: Artist Lonnie Hanzon’s wildly popular "Camp Christmas" installation, which drew 70,000 to Stanley Marketplace last year, is coming back as a true online camp experience, with several levels of available experiences. “Campers” can sign up to receive up to five packages in the mail that will be part of an interactive, online experience. Boxes go on sale November 1, with the adventures beginning November 12. Hanzon will complement the experiment with a daily broadcast starting in December. More information
Friday, November 13: Stories On Stage presents "Morale is At an All-Time High," a virtual, live-streaming performance by Denver's Buntport Theater that's billed as a comedy about life, love and the workplace. Featuring Brian Colonna, Hannah Duggan, Erik Edborg, Erin Rollman and Samantha Schmitz. 7 p.m. Order here
Saturday, November 14: The Denver Center is one of 20 major nonprofit arts organizations offering access to a virtual concert series called “Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway,” featuring Tony Award winner Laura Benanti on November 14, and actor/recording star Vanessa Williams on December 5. Each concert will be presented in high-definition from The Shubert Virtual Studios on Manhattan’s West Side. Each will feature a mix of Broadway showtunes, pop songs and personal stories from each headliner. At-home audience members will be invited to email questions, some of which will be answered in real time during the livestream. $30 each or $75 for all three shows. Order here
Ongoing: Last month, the audio version of John Moore's play "Waiting for Obama" was dropped on all major streaming channels. Now, Broadway on Demand has licensed the videotape of that recording, and it is now available on demand. In the play, a Colorado Springs family is convinced that Barack Obama is coming for their guns in the final weeks of his presidency – and they’re right. The cast features Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge and Mare Trevathan. It was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts. Ordering info here. The audio version play remains available for free listening on all major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean. Net revenues raised go directly to The Denver Actors Fund.
Ongoing: This year, “Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, has pivoted to “CAST 2020,” a professionally produced on-demand video concert featuring Colorado theatre artists performing in roles they WERE cast to play before the coronavirus shut down their shows. “CAST 2020” includes nearly a dozen songs performed by an all-star lineup of Colorado theatre performers, including Mary Louise Lee performing “Mamma’s Turn,” from what would have been Vintage Theatre’s "Gypsy." Reserve your link here
John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine during his time at The Denver Post. He also is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund, and is now contributing reports on the arts community for the Arvada Center. He's also the playwright of 'Waiting for Obama,' mentioned above. Reach him at email@example.com.